Dec 12 2012

Using Netflix on Linux through WINE

Apparently some Linux devs managed to get Silverlight working under WINE, then went on to make a dead-simple install that configures a separate Firefox install to run the app. It’s very slightly lower framerate than running it natively under Windows, but if it weren’t for that damned Silverlight dependency (for the DRM, naturally), we’d have had Netflix working on Linux a long time ago.

The commands, via Nixie Pixel:

To install on Ubuntu / Mint -
Start terminal

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ehoover/compholio
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install netflix-desktop


For Fedora (only 32 bit systems)
You need wget first:

su -c ‘yum -y install wget’

Installing Netflix:

wget -c http://sourceforge.net/projects/postinstaller/files/data/Netflixplayer.tar.gz

tar -xvzf Netflixplayer.tar.gz

su -c ‘sh Netflixplayer.sh’

Running Netflix from cmd line:

sh /usr/bin/Netflix.sh


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  1. 1
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    I thought Netflix had made a move to address this natively last year. Whatever.

  2. 2

    Too simple, use it through a remote desktop application from a mac on a different network. Better yet, connect the mac to the router using tin cans & string

  3. 3
    CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain

    For Fedora (only 32 bit systems)
    You need wget first:
    su -c ‘yum -y install wget’

    No wget !?
    I thought you said this was linux. :P

  4. 4
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    I thought Netflix had made a move to address this natively last year. Whatever.

    Nope. Or at least not much of one. If they cared, all they’d have to do is switch to Flash. Or HTML5, for that matter. However, they care more about DRM, so linux users get shafted.

  5. 5
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    Which version of Ubuntu?

  6. 6
    Jason Thibeault

    Tsu Dho Nimh: I’m thinking any that supports ppa’s. I only tested it on 12.10 though.

  7. 7
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Yeah, obviously they backed out of anything I heard about.

    They could switch to any number of things. Flash I’ve never understood as a video platform, but whatever works. They have to care about the DRM, because the content gatekeepers do, but they could certainly use a platform-independent method for DRM. And yes, DRM only makes things more difficult for good-faith customers, never stops infringers or actual pirates.

  8. 8

    That’s interesting.

    I really, really don’t like running anything where you don’t get to see the full Source Code; but presumably, if I set up a chroot environment, and only put enough of /dev in there to let it work, it shouldn’t be able to do any real damage.

    By the way, as long as a shell script begins with the line
    and has its x (execute) permission set, if it’s under /usr/bin/ or /usr/local/bin/ then you should be able to run it just by typing its filename.

  9. 9

    I think you’re missing the whole point of Linux, brainiac.

    Anyone with any principle would not use WINE to run and avoid DRM’d Windows programs under Linux. If you dislike Netflix’ drm requirement there is a simpler solution for you than some hacked up run it under WINE, solution.

    Talk about a principled, social justice warrior….

  10. 10
    Jason Thibeault

    Jay’s just still got his jimmies rustled by the comment thread on my Atheism is not enough Pt 1 post.

    As you can tell, that is terribly off-topic here. And it’s not like I didn’t complain about DRM right in the main post.

  11. 11

    OK, I did this like three times, and I get as far on the Netflix site as to my list of films. When I click on a film, the movie player loads, but it is blank with an error code 1001. I click the link it shows to go to their help page, and it says I need some fonts??? Could it really be that simple?

    Please advice. I have Fedora 17.

  12. 12
    Summer Rae

    I’m having the same issue as Mike above… I’ve tried a million fixes, including installing and trying to get Pipelight working, to no avail. Netflix Desktop worked fine in Linux Mint 15 before I added KDE…

  13. 13

    Running 32-bit Fedora 18 on a thinkpad here, same font problem as others; found a successful workaround and some other tips here:


    That poster states: “Once the Netflixplayer.sh was run I could access Netflix-Player from Fedora’s applications. Initially Netflix would not load yiedling a generic error. This error was due to a lack of MS fonts. I resolved this by installing EasyLife and from EasyLife I installed the Fonts package. I think you can achieve the same from winetricks and choosing corefonts.”

    It solved the problem for me; ymmv. I’m almost inclined to suggest to others to try the font installation(s) via winetricks first, as using easylife pulled down a sh1t-ton of additional font packages that were probably not even needed. Prior to using the easylife method, I also tried installing the msttcorefonts rpm from sourceforge:

    wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/mscorefonts2/files/rpms/msttcore-fonts-installer-2.6-1.noarch.rpm

    This actually installs a newer set of the fonts than what easylife tried installing, and could not, due to the packaging conflicts. After installing from this rpm, I tested running the netflix-player, but still got the error message. I think it really should have worked, however: I thought I closed the netflix-player and tried re-running it to test it, but I’m certain that I did not flush the cache and other history, so it’s possible that I didn’t test it properly at this point, seeing as how it was getting late, and my mind was getting foggy.

    Other points:

    You will need the cabextract package. If you use EasyLife, it will probably install it for you as a dependency, although I already had it installed on my machine.

    When running netflix-player on my machine, I don’t see any video and only get audio unless I make it fullscreen (simply by pressing “F”). This is most likely due to the sub-par built-in video system on this machine – ati graphics chipset and an lcd display that doesn’t really do high-res… :(

    At any rate, hth

  1. 14
    Linux News Watch | Using Netflix on Linux through WINE » Lousy Canuck

    [...] Using Netflix on Linux through WINE » Lousy Canuck Tags: atheism, christianity, climate-change, conservatives, Copyright, global-warming, [...]

  2. 15
    Best Option for Media Center Desktop

    [...] I just read around a bit about Netflix and from what I can gather it works, just, under WINE if your PC is fast enough and you've a recent enough version of WINE. Personally I'd not rely on being able to use Netflix under Linux at all. This site claims it works though, so perhaps I'm overly pessimistic: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycan…-through-wine/ [...]

  3. 16
    Netflic-Desktop/Player troubles

    [...] this is what you installed ? http://sourceforge.net/projects/post…ar.gz/download from sourceforge mind you this is 32 bit ONLY so you will need the 32 bit compt code installed on fedora 64 bit you did install wine it is REQUIRED to run the Microsoft "silverlight" flash that is needed for the draconian DRM http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycan…-through-wine/ [...]

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